Timothy Alexander Guzman: The Cashless Society Arrives in Africa.
The Multipurpose Biometric National Identity Smart Card. Nigerian Government partners with MasterCard to launch Multipurpose National Identity Smart Card. It was recently announced at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, that MasterCard and the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) under the government of Nigeria would form a partnership to distribute a new identity card to every Nigerian citizen. The purpose of the card is to have all Nigerian citizens participate in the financial services sector under the control of MasterCard, a multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York. MasterCard's press release MasterCard to Power Nigerian Identity Card Program, stated: As part of the program, in its first phase, Nigerians 16 years and older, and all residents in the country for more than two years, will get the new multipurpose identity card, which has 13 applications including MasterCard's prepaid payment technology that will provide cardholders with the safety, convenience and reliability of electronic payments. This will have a significant and positive impact on the lives of these Nigerians, who have not previously had access to financial services. The program is also designed to move Nigeria into a cashless society, one that is dependent on financial institutions, Wall Street and the Nigerian government. It will be managed by the financial elites of Wall Street, technocrats, and of course Washington. All forms of financial transactions would be exchanged through plastic credit and debit cards, that would have implanted RFID chips. Michael Miebach, President of the Middle East and Africa division at MasterCard supports the Nigerian government's decision for a new cashless society. Today's announcement is the first phase of an unprecedented project in terms of scale and scope for Nigeria, said Michael Miebach. MasterCard has been a firm supporter of the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) Cashless Policy, as we share a vision of a world beyond cash. From the program's inception, we have provided the Federal Government of Nigeria with global insights and best practices on how electronic payments can enable economic growth and create a more financially inclusive economy. The problem with a cashless society, is that the state can terminate your electronic financial lifeline if anything were to happen within the country, for example any form of protests, economic downturns, a war or if a financial institution such as MasterCard were to go bankrupt.